Flying auto: Google founder Larry Page-backed firm develops sci-fi vehicle

Flying auto: Google founder Larry Page-backed firm develops sci-fi vehicle

The electric aircraft had 10 small lift rotors on its wings, making it capable of vertical take-off and landing like a helicopter.

"The mission of Kitty Hawk is to get everybody to fly every day, eventually to get rid of traffic", said Sebastian Thrun, CEO of Kitty Hawk.

Image: No price has been specified for the flying auto.

Google co-founder Larry Page's flying auto company, Kitty Hawk, has revealed one of its upcoming flying vehicle aircrafts - the Flyer.

The group, named for the North Carolina town in which the Wright Brothers first took flight, previously showed off an all-electric autonomous flying taxi called the Cora.

The company was created a year ago in Google´s home town of Mountain View, California, and has been testing a prototype in New Zealand.

"Making Flyer accessible, which is what we do at our Lake Las Vegas training facility, helps more people experience the freedom and possibilities of vehicles of the future", a Kitty Hawk spokeswoman told AFP.

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The start-up teased the Flyer in a demo video past year, and is now nearing public roll out.

Because it's powered by motors rather than internal combustion engines, Kitty Hawk says the Flyer will be significantly quieter than other ultralight aircraft, promising that it's only as loud as a lawnmower from 50 feet away.

Test flights by first-timers were over water, with the top speed limited to 32kph and the altitude no more than 3m.

The company didn't say when the Flyer would go on sale or how much it would cost. The Flyer, which was designed as a recreational vehicle, has a flight time of 12 to 20 minutes on a full charge.

The uncovered cockpit appears to be big enough for one person. It's likely the vehicle will first be made available to luxury resorts or clubs as a form of recreation over open water, similar to the water jet pack.

Several other flying vehicle models are also being tested, with Uber and other companies expressing interest, according to the report.

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